House of Literature Bookmobile

This is the place I share book (movie) selections and reviews I have found worth mentioning. I'll also share gleanings of family life, faith, home education, and ongoing writing projects. Book selections will include children's books, books on home education, Catholic books, classics, series, raising children, and books that are made for reading under a shady oak tree with lemonade, in a bubble bath with a latte', or next to a snuggly fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Advent Book Prep

Advent Greetings!

What a beautiful time of year this preparation is!

I have way too many Christmas books to mention. I took them off the top shelf last night and transferred them into the book basket. They will be made available in the living room throughout the month of December.

Here I will share the ones that we plan to focus on throughout the Advent season.

I have my online friend Irene to thank for bringing this book to my attention: The Trees Kneel at Christmas is a Christmas book with a Catholic influence. I love finding out about books where the characters share my Catholic faith! The author, Maud Hart Lovelace, is the creator of the childhood famous Betsy-Tacy books than enriched my childhood.

Review from "Lovelace portrays an extended family that treasures its Lebanese traditions, takes pride in its adaptation to American ways, and celebrates religious faith as its guiding principle. After seven-year-old Afify and her younger brother, Hanna, hear a story about the trees kneeling down to worship on Christmas Eve, Afify decides they will go to their Brooklyn park to see the trees bow down. Praying to be worthy of seeing the miracle, Afify tries to be saintlike all day, though she finds the going rough. Finally, after their relatives have left for midnight mass, Afify takes Hanna to the park, where they find their special trees, heavy with ice, bowing down. Their parents are upset, but when Afify and Hanna tell of the miracle they've seen, the whole family draws together in the grace of that moment. What shines here is the mystery of religious experience and the notion of religion as the central guiding principle of a family's life."

I treated myself to a trip to Books-A-Million the other day. The Christmas display was the first thing I saw upon entering the store. It was as attractive and appetizing as a stuffed goose and plum pudding.
I bought One Candle written by Eve Bunting and beautifully illustrated by K. Wendy Popp. It's about a Jewish family celebrating Hanukkah. Amazon review: "Another finely tuned intimate, first-person narrative from Bunting, who delivers a moving family history framed within the celebration of Hanukkah. Grandma ritualistically makes a candle from a hollowed-out potato in memory of the time she and Great-Aunt Rose spent in Buchenwald (Nazi concentration camp during WWII). The repeated story unites the family as they celebrate the present and remember the past."

It's a heartfelt story and I think we will focus a bit on Hanukkah this year. My calendar says the first day of Hanukkah is the day after Christmas. There are lots of good things to discuss in this book.

We will also
read Madeleine L'Engle's The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas. A couple years ago we did a very extended version of the book. This year we'll just read. review: "To seven-year-old Vicky Austin, the twenty-four days before Christmas are the most wonderful days of the year. She's going to be an angel in the Christmas Pageant. Best of all, Vicky and her brother John and her little sister Suzy do something special every day to celebrate: they hang twinkling lights, make cookies, and wish very hard for snow. But what if the new baby comes during Christmas and Mother has to go to the hospital? How can they have Christmas without Mother?"


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